“If you feel you have a gift, you can’t let anyone take that dream away from you.” – Darlene Love (one of my all-time favorite quotes)


In just a few months, viewers will say goodbye to the greatest late night host in television history.  David Letterman, it can be argued, has done more for the medium of television and professional entertainment overall than anyone and on Friday night, his greatest tradition comes to a close.  Darlene Love will make her final appearance (her 20th in a row, I believe) at Christmastime to sing, “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home).”  Darlene recorded the song in 1963 for Phil Specter and it remains my favorite Christmas recording of all time.  You may know Darlene as Danny Glover’s wife in the Lethal Weapon movies.  Google her career.  If you’re a music lover, it’s staggering.

I’m lucky enough to spend a few hours a week on the air with Big Daddy Graham on WIP in Philly, one of my dearest friends and someone I share a lot of interests with, including our love of Darlene (no pun intended) and that song.  It seems like every conversation around the holidays we have eventually ends up discussing that recording and her live performances.  They are stunning.  You can youtube several of them and I highly recommend that you do.

So, stay up late Friday night and catch Darlene Love’s final performance on The Late Show with David Letterman.  Just try and not stand up and sing along.  It will be impossible.


Just two tense weeks remain in the NFL’s 2014 regular season.  Here is YOUR What 2 Watch 4…


Really, NFL schedule maker?  Fans have to suffer through Tennesee at Jacksonville on Thursday night?  This matchup is the NFL equivalent to getting a lump of coal in your stocking Christmas morning.


Two Saturday matchups:

Philadelphia at Washington.  I’m sure Desean Jackson is licking his chops at another shot at his old team.  Problem is, Robert Griffin is throwing him the ball.  The Eagles can still win the NFC East if they win out and Dallas loses at home to Indy on Sunday or at Washington next week.

San Diego at San Francisco.  The Chargers still have an outside shot at a wildcard berth and the 49ers have already begun their search for their next head coach.  They also may want consider their search for a new quarterback.


Jimmy Clausen (pictured above) will start at quarterback for Chicago at home on Sunday against Detroit.  You have to think upon hearing this news that the Lions’ coaching staff considered giving the team the rest of the week off.


Atlanta travels to the Superdome in a game that could decide the winner of the putrid NFC South.  Regardless of who wins the divisions, there is likely going to be an 11 game winner in the NFC playing golf wildcard weekend.  Hope whoever wins, Saints or Falcons, can look themselves in the mirror.


Kansas City at Pittsburgh.  Big AFC playoff implications here.  Can the Chiefs hang on to a wildcard berth against a Steeler team with an actual shot to win their division?  Man, there are some bad football teams this year.


Dallas hosts Indianapolis.  The Colts have, virtually, nothing to play for having already clinched the AFC South unless you figure the third seed is that much more valuable than the fourth seed.  Dallas is playing for the NFC East.  If you’re an Eagles fan you’re thinking doomsday but I’ll tell you I expect the Colts to play hard on Sunday as they have not played well lately with quarterback Andrew Luck turning the ball over more than usual.  The Colts need to right their ship before the post-season.  Will they have to face Dallas running back DeMarco Murray?  If he plays, it will be with a recently operated on broken hand.


Seattle, winners of 4 straight, travel to Arizona where the Cardinals haven’t lost this year.  In fact, they are 13-2 overall at home under head coach Bruce Arians.  The Seahawks are red hot and poised to take control of the NFC West but the Cardinals play very disciplined defense and should be able to shut down Seattle’s offense.  Arizona, however, will start its third string quarterback, Ryan Lindley, against a ferocious Seahawk defense.  Could be a 3-0 final in the desert.


Huge matchup on Monday night!  9-4-1 Cincinnati hosts 11-3 Denver.  The Broncos are playing for home field advantage.  The Bengals are playing for the AFC North.


And finally, a lot of Eagles fans are clamoring for Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota, Oregon’s quarterback.  First of all, go back and look at history.  The only Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks to win a playoff games in the last 30 years are Tim Tebow and Vinny Testaverde.

Great college quarterbacks do not always translate to the NFL.  Secondly, the Eagles would have to give up a king’s ransom for the #1 pick.  First, this year’s #1.  Also, next year’s #1.  Also, a third year’s #1.  Then, the conversation starts.  Throw in a couple other picks, a solid player and, maybe, the Eagles can move up 25 spots or so to #1.

In other words, fuggetaboutit.


Football Friday starts early with me and Big Daddy Graham on Sportsradio 94WIP in Philadelphia from 2am to 5:30am.


Check back here on Monday for my Week 16 NFL Notes and Musings as we get a clearer picture of who is in and who is out of the NFL playoff picture.


Follow me on Twitter:  @darrendegaetano

Follow The Magnificent Bastards team on Twitter:  @MBWildfire  @brianstartare  @bindslinds  @moviefin  @wildfire_radio

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Darren DeGaetano
A lifelong buddy of Voodoo Brown's, Darren was born in Philadelphia and resides with his family in South Jersey. His resume includes ten years producing sports radio in Philadelphia and five years as a writer, director and producer for NFL Films. His weekly NFL NOTES & MUSINGS column provides his thoughts, anecdotes and eye opening statistics that happened over the previous weekend. Additionally, every Friday, Darren offers his "What 2 Watch 4" column to set you up for the coming weekend football action. Darren's best known annual piece features his Darrentees, a collection of NFL bold and not so bold predictions for the season at hand. Finally, Darren is a full time NFL Insider for Philadelphia's Sportsradio 94.1 WIP and co-hosts the Thursday night / Friday morning overnight show with Big Daddy Graham and can be heard on the official Philadelphia Eagles post-game show. He also likes red wine. Lots and lots of red wine.